MPs call for new support structure for wave and tidal power

A cross-party group of 91 MPs have signed a letter to energy minister Claire Perry asking for more support for wave and tidal power.

The letter, written by Conservative MP Richard Graham,  Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Marine Energy and Tidal Lagoons, encourages the government to include new policies to support innovative wave and tidal stream technologies in its upcoming Energy White Paper. It says auctions for Contracts for Difference will not bring forward marine renewables, as the sector is at an earlier stage of development than competing technologies such as offshore wind.

The letter suggests reforming the CfD system so that marine technologies compete among themselves for government-backed power contracts. This would drive competition and reduce costs, while incubating them until they are cost-competitive with other mainstream forms of low carbon power. The MPs also highlight an industry proposal to offer tax rebates to corporations that sign Innovation Power Purchase Agreements, which would pay above the market rate for electricity generated by wave and tidal projects.

Richard Graham MP said “Marine energy is an innovative, world-class industry in which the UK is a global leader. We have an unparalleled resource with 50% of Europe’s tidal energy and 35% of its wave energy. It is time to grasp the opportunity in front of us, as the government has with offshore wind. ..

“To ensure the industry keeps growing, marine energy needs a route to market. The right kind of support will enable firms to take investment decisions which will ensure we retain our advantage – otherwise it will slip away to international competitors. We need to secure the UK’s pole position as a leading exporter of marine technology around the world, capturing the lion’s share of the global market”.